After his first novel, Full Curl, won the 2018 Arthur Ellis Award for Best First Crime Novel in Canada and was short-listed for the Rakuten Kobo Emerging Writers award in the mystery category, Dave Butler, BSF’81, is releasing the next instalment in the Jenny Willson mystery series on Dundurn Press. In No Place for Wolverines, Park Warden Jenny Willson initiates a covert inquiry into a proposed ski hill in Yoho National Park. She’s quickly drawn into a web of political, environmental and criminal intrigue that threatens to tear apart a small BC town, pitting neighbour against neighbour, friend against friend, family against family. After a wolverine researcher dies in a mysterious fire, Willson forms an uneasy alliance with an RCMP corporal and an Idaho-based investigative journalist to expose the truth behind the ski hill project. With characteristic tenacity, she discovers that perception differs from reality. Willson ends up in a show-down with the American proponent, with her own agency and with political puppeteers who pull strings in the shadows. Ultimately, Willson must decide if she’s willing to risk her career – and perhaps her life and the lives of those close to her – to reveal what lurks in the darkness.
Joel Murray, BA’81, MA’99, successfully defended his Doctor of Education degree from Simon Fraser University in January 2018, and attended his convocation in June. His dissertation, From the inside out: A hermeneutic phenomenological exploration of the ethical dilemmas and lived experience of an associate dean, examined how academic administrators in the post-secondary context resolve ethical dilemmas in their practice. Dr. Murray has worked at Kwantlen Polytechnic University since 2000, where he currently serves as associate dean of the Faculty of Science and Horticulture.
Darrel J. McLeod, BA’84, BEd’85, has recently released his memoir, Mamaskatch: A Cree Coming of Age, on Douglas & McIntye. Mamaskatch is a series of linked, storylike chapters telling the story of a Cree boy growing up near Lesser Slave Lake, Alberta. Like many indigenous children, McLeod longed for happiness, peace and a normal life – his reference for “normal” being Archie comic books. Instead, he found himself immersed in situations of terror and tragedy, with his strong and tender mother transforming into a tormented and tormenting figure, his older brother growing into a flamboyant drag queen, and his one promising father figure, brother-in-law Wally, catapulting him into a life of secrecy as he involves Darrel in schemes of abuse. This abuse opens a cavern of questions about his gender identity and future, and this struggle – to know who he truly is, and to move out from under a dark cloud of shame and guilt – becomes a key thread in the book. Darrel’s young life takes on a blurring pace from the tiny village of Smith in the boreal forest of northern Alberta, to the Rocky Mountains, to the city (Calgary) and eventually to the west coast. Along this path he struggles to hold onto his Cree culture and his sanity, though torn by the disintegration of family, poverty, suicide, issues of gender identity, racism, and bullying. Yet deep and mysterious forces handed down by his mother help him survive and thrive. Buried deep inside, Darrel had her love and strength, and the continued presence of the magical birds that she gave to him as a protective force. Their reappearance at different junctures of his life, guiding him “home” to a fulfilling and adventurous life.
After completing a five-year appointment to the Ontario Municipal Board, Joe G. Wong, BCom’84, recently returned to the practice of municipal law at the City of Cambridge and is now a solicitor with the City of Hamilton.